90 experienced learning and development professions descended on the Australian Technology Park for the 3rd Learning Cafe UnConference to discuss and share thoughts on some of the big issues and trends in the L&D profession. The participants came from a cross section of organisations and industries.

Here is the analysis of the feedback from Feedback from 32 UnConference participants. One aspect to keep in mind is that the UnConference is designed to be an omnibus of themes. content and delivery styles. This diversity means that it is likely not everything will be liked by everyone.

Case in point are the Open Session which had a score of 3.67/5 but had the highest standard deviation of 0.92, which means that the audience either liked it or did not think much of it.

All aspects scored over 3.8 out of 5.

Learning Cafe Unconf Feedback 2014

What was Good

  • % of participants who indicated they would like to attend the UnConference next year - 99%
  • Concept/Idea of UnConference (4.63/5) – Like last year received the highest feedback score and was the most the consistent feedback (least standard deviation). Good endorsement of a professional development event which aspires to be innovative.
  • Value for money and time spent scored 4.22/5 and 4.12/5 respectively which remain important objectives for the UnConference.
  • Quality of discussion and facilitators scored about 4/5. UnConference aims for substance over style to open up new windows of thinking by experienced facilitators.

What need to be improved.

  • Discussion of Big Issues and Ideas (3.88) – Nest year the themes will be chosen on evidence based.
  • Venue (4) – Many participants commented that they liked the venue but the breakout rooms were noisy during the stream session. Use of breakout rooms will be considered next year.
  • Open Session (3.67) – The feedback for the open session had the highest standard deviation or least agreement (0.92). Open session allows anyone to speak up and injects the “un” in the UnConference. Open session will stay but the format is likely to be improved.

Some comments

  • Great format – well done. One of the best events in this field I have attended.
  • I enjoyed the opportunity to hear from people who are passionate about learning, and across trends and best practices; and be able to contribute my own experience and ideas. Thank you for a great day, designed to keep interest, energy and discussion.
  • Over all a very positive and worthwhile day – well done. Whilst I understand the reason having the two streams talking in the same room makes it hard to hear the stream you are listening to. A venue with individual breakout rooms would be better. Perhaps a uni setting where they have chairs you can rest books on as an aid to writing. Also the planning MOOC planning session was informative but perhaps too short to really grasp the concept.
  • Please provide healthier options for morning & afternoon tea (at least a bowl of fruit).
  • The lineup of speakers was very good. I also found the level of audience discussion to be high, which I think is also a testament to the skill of the speakers to facilitate conversation.
  • It was a little difficult to hear the speakers at times, particularly when they were leading sessions in the same room. I wonder if there might be other ways to break up the stream sessions without having two sessions take place in the same room?
    There is something that came out of the discussions I heard at the conference which I would love to hear more about next year, if possible: how the role of the instructional designer is changing, and how L&D departments must rethink the way they use and position IDs to meet business imperatives and constraints.
  • The quality of the discussions and the knowledge of the group gave solutions but also generated more questions….maybe a 1.5 – 2 day session would help work through solutions.
  • No opportunity for participants to quiz panel.
  • It was a great day-lots of interesting people and ideas.
  • All great, the only distraction was the split breakout which made it difficult to hear.
  • A great day. Thank you.
  • Learning Labs could be improved.
  • The best UnConference so far. Well done.
  • Many of the presentations focused on very large organisations. Might be good to see issues from smaller organisations.
  • Very impressive. I gained great value out of the conference.
  • Venue is not ideal for break out sessions.
  • 2 opening speakers – excellent idea.
  • I find value in stream sessions and wish they were longer.
  • Struggled to hear during stream sessions however discussion & ideas was valuable. Gamification and start up was great.
    Great day.
  • Stream sessions were too short.

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About Author

Jeevan Joshi

Jeevan is a Director at KnowledgeWorking and an experienced practitioners of technology based learning and collaboration in Australia. For over 18 years he has combined a strategic and “hands on” approach to assist organisations understand, design, deliver and improve technology enabled solutions and processes.His expertise is fuelled by his passion for learning, anticipation of technology trends, and a focus on costs effective solutions.Jeevan has a passion for technology based learning and its ability to achieve bottom line results and social change

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